Despite flames pouring from a 4" gas line for over two hours, firefighters prevented the fire from spreading and endanging the neighboring community.
Just after 1PM on Wednesday, August 3, 2016, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to 5858 N Shoup Av for a reported leaking gas line. The first arriving company found a 4" gas line that ignited, causing a large plume of fire threatening the adjacent trees, grass and residences. The incident was immediately upgraded to a structure fire response. Incident Commander, Assistant Chief Gregory Reynar, evaluated the situation and while the initial intent was to evacuate the closest block of homes, it was later deemed unnecessary. Ultimately, six people from four homes chose to voluntarily evacuate and no injuries were reported from anyone involved.
75 firefighters, under Chief Reynar's command, went to work putting hand lines in place to ensure the fire did not set off the large pine trees and keep embers to a minimum. Additional units were deployed to the residences to check for spot fires and extinguish any embers that escaped the area. SoCal Gas was notified and began the work of accessing and securing the gas line. It is not safe to fully extinguish an active, gas feed fire until the flow has been shut off.
At 3:42PM, SoGal Gas officials confirmed the line was secured and firefighters finished the work of fully knocking down the fire and cooling the tractor to ensure it could not cause any further damage.
It was determined the line was struck by the backhoe during excavation work. While this was not a residential operation, it serves as a good reminder for those planinning to do any digging near their home - "811 Call Before You Dig". The 811 hotline will automatically route you to the local call center to get the safety information you need before digging. For more details on this resource, please visit http://call811.com/before-you-dig.
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